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I am getting ready to head off to Texas A&M University-Commerce, where I will be serving as a visiting expert for the National Endowment for the Humanities' "The Real and Imagined Middle Ages in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings" Institute for teachers from across the country, organized by Professors Robin Anne Reid and Judy Ann Ford. Needless to say, I'm very pleased I was invited to be a part of the programming. I will be lecturing and leading discussions on the topic of Tolkien's influence on contemporary fantasy.

In other news...

* Librivox has added some new unabridged readings of particular interest to genre readers:
The Scarlet Plague by Jack London
The Song of Roland (Author Unknown)
The Age of Chivalry by Thomas Bulfinch
Short Science Fiction Collection #21 by Jack Williamson, Robert Shea, and other authors

* Frankensteinia: The Frankenstein Blog (syndicated for LJ as frankens) discusses Frankenstein and all things related in the arts, media, and popular culture. My discovery of this blog is well timed, as The Classic Tales podcast is currently running a new unabridged reading of Mary Shelley's classic.

"Hobbits are just rustic English people, made small in size because it reflects (in general) the small reach of their imagination - not the small reach of their courage or latent power."
-J.R.R. Tolkien, interview with Dennis Gerrolt for Now Read On...


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 26th, 2009 06:16 pm (UTC)
What a cool thing about Texas A&M! Have fun!

I used to have a Frodo lives button back in the 70s!
Jul. 28th, 2009 07:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much - I'm having a fantastic time!

I used to have a Frodo lives button back in the 70s!

LOL! (I still have one. *wink*)
Jul. 26th, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC)
Awesomeness! Have fun!
Jul. 28th, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm having a great time. :)
Abbie [wordpress.com]
Jul. 26th, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)
Whoo Texas! I hope you have a lovely time lecturing! :)
Jul. 28th, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm having a blast. And the thunderstorms last night were lovely. :)
Abbie [wordpress.com]
Jul. 30th, 2009 12:32 am (UTC)
Good to hear!

Ah...I missed them because I was in Austin, but we did drive through a pretty intense one on the way down there.
Jul. 26th, 2009 08:54 pm (UTC)
Hey ---I have a couple of questions for presentation I'm working on:

1) Baker Street Irregulars ---1934? Any Sherlock Holmes society before that?

2) HP Lovecraft fans ---did they ever officially organize and when?
Jul. 28th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC)
Hello from Commerce, TX! :)

1) Yep, BSI began in 1934. I'm not sure how the fans organized before then, but they must have found a way, because I have multiple sources (I can list some if you need them) that say that Londoners were seen wearing black armbands in 1893 after The Final Solution was published, and they also staged a - successful, I might add - letter writing campaign to The Strand demanding that Holmes return despite his apparent "death."

2) It sort of depends on how you define it. August Derleth and Donald Wandrei started out as fans of Lovecraft's, and contacted him as such; eventually they became friends. After Lovecraft died, Derleth and Wandrei organized Arkham House to publish his work, and later, the work of other fans of his. (The idea dated back to 1837; the first publication was in 1939.)

The main way Lovecraft fans organized prior to the Lovecraft film festivals and gaming conventions of today was through fanzines. Arkham House had its own zine starting in 1948, but there were others as well, tons of them: Crypt of Cthulhu, The Miskatonic, Strange Aeons, Dagon, etc., and other non-English ones, as well. I think - I'd need to get back home to my library to check on this for certain - that The Lovecraftsman (started in 1963) was one of the first independent (non-Arkham House) zines.

I hope this helps!
Jul. 28th, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC)
Yes, that is helpful. Thanks!

Too bad you're not in Detroit :)
Jul. 28th, 2009 08:54 pm (UTC)
Aw, shucks! Our respective conferences should've chosen the same location! Your presentation sounds like it will be great - I envy your audience.

BTW, that 1837 above should read 1937. *blush*
Jul. 26th, 2009 11:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you for linking to my blog, Frankensteinia. Please note, the blog is not all that "new". It'll be two years old in August.


Pierre Fournier.
Jul. 28th, 2009 07:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for your kind response! I've noted that - I appreciate the clarification. Thanks for a great blog.
Jul. 27th, 2009 12:37 am (UTC)
Good luck and congrats with the lectures. Can you believe I actually wore a "Frodo Lives" pin back in the early 70s. The Hobbit and LOTR were very much a part of the 60s/70s sensibility (I was 18 in 1969).

It just so happens I was at a lecture today on art deco and film costume design, and the lecturer showed some Aubrey Beardsley prints... and I was instantly transported back to the 60s/70s again. It made me realize haven't seen AB graphics in many years... but art nouveau, art deco, etc., was so big back then.
Jul. 28th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!

I have a small collection of '60s and '70s Tolkien pins. Very fun stuff! Now I need to go look up some Aubrey Beardsley prints! :)
Jul. 27th, 2009 05:02 am (UTC)
So much fun just reading about where you are going and what you will be doing, and imagining the wonderful people you will be interacting with. Hope you'll let us know how everything goes! Hugs!
Jul. 28th, 2009 07:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm having a great time thus far. I'll report back soon - hugs to you!
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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